Basics of Medical Bankruptcy

Have you heard of the medical bankruptcy? Well, you might think that this is all about being insolvent due to medical issues alone, and filing a ‘medical bankruptcy’ because of it. I cannot blame you for thinking that way because I also had the same first thought. It is a help for everybody, therefore it is a must that you have at least the basic knowledge about it. To help you be informed about this topic, here is some of the basic information regarding it.

Medical bankruptcy is a general term used to refer to the reason why a people need to file a bankruptcy. Actually, this is not a legal term. According to the its rules, if you are to file a medical bankruptcy, you need to either file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. In this filing, you need to comprise all your debts including all your medical debts and other unsecured loans. After some examination and it is proven that you are insolvent, they will free you from all your debts and will be declared into bankruptcy. When you file for a certain bankruptcy, you are required to list down all of your creditors, including your medical bills. This only clear up that ‘medical bankruptcy’ is not all about your medical debts.

Based on the statistics, provided by an article in CNN, medical debts is one of the basic reasons why people file bankruptcy. As a matter of fact, about 60% of the filed bankruptcy is due to medical issues. And almost all of these 60% are the single mothers and elderly.

Having health care insurance is not insurance at all. According to some medical bankruptcy statistics, almost 80% of the bankruptcy filers have insurance. This may be due to the fact that, even people have health insurance, they still bear most of the payments for the bills which forces them to file for bankruptcy.

Some of the people think that when you file a bankruptcy, doctors can refuse to cure you. Well, according to the federal law, those hospitals receiving subsidy from the government do not have the right to refuse from accepting a patient who had filed a bankruptcy. More often than not, the doctor and the patient are making agreement on the amount that the patient can afford to pay the doctor even he had suffered from bankruptcy.

Medical Bankruptcy is available for all who needs and who seeks for financial help. But I am advising you that filing it must be your last resort. This is not just a simple way for you to escape from your creditors and debts. It must be filed if you really do not have a choice and you can’t really answer for your obligations.

It is undeniable that only a few really had the knowledge about this fact. As a matter of fact, this is a right of all individuals; therefore you must have the knowledge about it. In all cases of life situation, being well informed is one of the basic keys in giving solutions to the problem you thought will never be solved forever. The facts that I have presented are just the basics, if you wanted to have a full grasp about medical bankruptcy, research and be informed!

Chapter 13: When Trying To Settle Bankruptcy Medical Bills

If your debts are too high but pride prevents you from seeking protection under Chapter 7 bankruptcy then Chapter 13 may be the option for you. Whereas Chapter 7 allows you to start with a clean slate, Chapter 13 is a repayment plan supervised by the court. If you fall within an income category or if you are currently unemployed, the court will also allow you to pay only a portion of the total medical debt. Most people who file Chapter 13 have incomes much higher than what Chapter 7 allows.

The repayment period under Chapter 13 bankruptcy is around 3-5 years. One advantage is you get to keep your non-exempt property, which would have been sold to pay of the creditors under Chapter 7 proceedings. People who file for Chapter 13 have something in common:

They want to pay their medical bills but their current situation does not allow them to do so.
Because of their medical bills, they are behind on mortgage or car loan payments.
You already filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year or seven years ago. You can only renew application for Chapter 7 after eight years.

There are other requirements to filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy medical bills but a lawyer will be able to explain to you better the constraints and benefits of the proceeding. For example, you can’t file Chapter 13 if your debts are already discharged more than two years ago. Filing bankruptcy medical bills also does not automatically eliminates taxes, alimony, child or spousal support, student loan or criminal and civil liabilities.

It’s important that you consider all your options and reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of filing Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Don’t jump to a decision without first consulting with your family, friends, co-workers and lawyers. Remember, you will end up dealing with the consequences of your actions so no matter how valuable their advises would be, the decision of whether or not you file for bankruptcy ultimately rests with you.

Chapter 7: Protection From Bankruptcy Medical Bills

Medical bills are the most common reason for people seeking bankruptcy. However, seeking protection from Bankruptcy medical bills is possible because hospital bills are considered as unsecured debt. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is perfect in the sense that it is the quickest and the debtor can walk away with just a few nicks and cuts, particularly some properties that are not covered by exemption and your overall credit score, which may impact your ability to secure loans in the future.

Bankruptcy medical bills could be the best thing that you can do to restart your financial future with a clean slate. There’s a certain stigma to declaring bankruptcy but it’s actually a very personal matter. Your privacy is protected and you can still move forward with your life as opposed to the misconception that you walk away only with your clothes on. In some cases, you can even keep your car under bankruptcy.

What happens is the court designates a trustee that will inventory your properties, determine which are exempted and sell those which are not. The money raised from the sale will be used to pay your creditors. To know which properties are exempted from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, talk to a lawyer proficient with bankruptcy laws. Some examples of properties covered by exemptions are: your house, tools or equipment you use in your profession, social security, disability or unemployment benefits, or life insurance. There could be some additional exemptions depending on state laws.

After filing bankruptcy, the court orders the creditors to stay away. But the law also allows creditors to prove that they are justified in collecting your debt, the burden of proof however swings to their side. Bankruptcy however will not wipe out all your debts. Any lien you owe prior to the medical emergency stays on records and you are required to settle it in due time.

Filing for bankruptcy medical bills will not automatically exempt you from paying the IRS. There are conditions before the federal tax agency will let you off the hook. Again, consult a bankruptcy lawyer to explain to you all the gradations of law in relation to Chapter 7 bankruptcy medical bills. You might be able to ward off your creditors but you can’t get away from the IRS. Federal agents can still swoop in even after bankruptcy and seize your properties but only if they decide that you are trying to run away from your responsibility as a taxpayer.

Using Bankruptcy Medical Bills To Your Advantage

Nowadays, medical treatments are priced five times more than they are used to be, even when you acquire them in the less expensive and less popular hospitals. Although people tend to avoid going to hospitals as much as possible, especially those who are without health insurance, there are circumstances that still lead them to the hospital doors. If truth be told, filing for bankruptcy medical bills is not a bad thing. In fact, it is considered to be an ideal financial option for those who are unable to pay their medical bills. Here’s how you can make the most out of bankruptcy.

Tip #1- Ask for the detailed hospital expenses. Even in the age of computers, it is still possible to make mistakes. Hence, it is important to ask for an itemized list of your hospital bills. This way, you can ensure that you’re paying only for the medical treatments that you have been given. You can also reduce the cost that the government has to pay once you file for bankruptcy.

Tip #2- Don’t be hesitant to ask for help. People tend to be scared of filing for bankruptcy. What they don’t know is that it is one of the best options when you’re faced with steep medical bills. You will no longer have to work on being qualified for various organizations and charity cases. In fact, you will no longer have to dread picking up the phone or receiving letters from the hospital or your creditors. Once you file for bankruptcy medical bills, most of your debts will be cleared, allowing you to live with a clean slate once again. However, it is important that you ask for advice and assistance from bankruptcy lawyers. They can help you keep the bankruptcy process as smooth-sailing as possible. They can also help you determine the right steps to take after bankruptcy has been filed.

You don’t have to be afraid of bankruptcy medical bills. It is a good option to turn to when you’re unable to pay hospital bills.